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Gear & Equipment Discussion Did I mention that the gear you use is cheap and flimsy?

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Old 05-23-2006, 02:18 PM   #1
supersudo

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Polyester vs Nylon -- The Fabric Info Guide!

well, i've recently been doin some research on the pros and cons of different fabrics used in training gear and i've found some interesting things about it..

i've found that the majority of performance wear is made of polyester, polyester spandex, and most rashguards (surfing ones at least) are made of nylon, nylon spandex..

here's like a guide for you newbs on fabrics and such..




Breathability
It is the weave of the fabric (the size and number of holes) that determines breathability or resistance to air movement. Any woven or knit fabric will breathe - even if the weave is made of rubber strands.


Wicking
is the transportation of fluids (eg. sweat in liquid form) and is driven by temperature and humidity gradient. So if the climate inside your shirt is warmer and more humid than the outside air, moisture will be driven away from your body. Wicking can also be accomplished by the construction and arrangement of yarn in a piece of clothing. If the yarn on the outside of the garment is thinner than the yarn on the inside of the garment, capillary action will pull water to the outside. The increased surface area (not hollow fibre cores) of the thin yarn gives the water more space to spread out. This type of construction can be used in either Nylon or Polyester fabrics.


SPANDEX
is rubber that is inserted into fabric to give it stretch. Rubber is weak, however, and people can be allergic to it--Latex Allergy-- so when putting a garment with spandex in the dryer, it tends to dry out and the strands break meaning the garment loses compression power.


Polyester vs Nylon
Polyester fabrics perform better than nylon for moisture management because polyester is more hydrophobic. Nylon threads will absorb more water than Polyester, water requires more heat energy to warm than does air, so nylon will feel colder when wet, and stay wet longer, and when saturated impede breathability.

The down-side for polyester is odor retention, and durability (Nylon lasts longer).
http://www.sweatitout.com/cgi-bin/ub...c;f=1;t=000035


Color retention
Polyester is hydrophobic, meaning it does not absorb water. This means that when it is dyed, only the color of the dye dissolves into the fabric (not any water-base), making the dye permanent. NylonŽ possesses hydrophilic qualities (that is, it absorbs water). Its inability to repel water causes the fabric to swell and ultimately weakens the molecular structure. The dyestuffs used on nylonŽ tend to oxidize, a reaction which is catalyzed by light. The microscopic effects range from color fading to complete degradation of the polymer matrix. This is why the colors fade in nylon-lycraŽ swimsuits over time, but do not fade in polyester-lycraŽ swimsuits (Man-Made Fiber Yearbook, August 2000).

http://www.agonswim.com/fabrics/fabr...ationGuide.cfm
^^^also info on snagging and chlorine resistance^^^


hope this helps out some peeps in their purchasing choices

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Old 05-23-2006, 02:53 PM   #2
SoulWound666
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Most shorts seem to be made of stretch (loose woven or spandex aided) microfibers, which I believe fall under the form of some sort of polyester. Cycling jerseys and such are also made of polyester, it's all about how the material is woven though. Which is why there are often broad ranges in price for items, not based on what materials are used, but by how intricate the weave of the fabric is to produce.

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Old 05-23-2006, 10:51 PM   #3
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good post, thanks.

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Old 05-24-2006, 01:05 AM   #4
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This is exactly the reason that we use polyester in all our products. It preforms better. Another piece of info you might not know is that polyester holds printing much better because it can take higher heat during the printing which causes a better adhesion. Nylon will melt if it is printed at to high of heat. This is a little trade secret that even some manufacturers dont even know. check out your rashguards and you will see that most are nylon and they dont hold prints very long. Something else is that spandex, elastain, and Lycra are basically the same thing. They are just name brands. Lycra is what we use because it was designed by Dupont and it has had a lot of durability and functionality test done on it.

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